August 16, 2014 – Anirban Lahiri shot a three over 75 in the third round of the Fiji International tournament, an event held by the Australian PGA. The 87th ranked golfer from Bangalore managed a lone birdie against four bogeys as he settled just inside the top 20, at two-over 218. Lahiri sailed into the weekend on the back of a 69 in the second round, but could not reproduce similar form on Saturday, losing eight spots in the process. Steven Jeffress and Jake Higginbottom enjoy a two stroke lead over the field after a difficult third round at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course in Fiji. (Read more in Golf)
Lahiri was battling tough conditions and a challenging course as he slipped through the front nine. Starting at 12th on the scoresheet, Lahiri’s advantage evaporated quickly when he made three straight birdies between the 6th through 8th holes. He needed a 39 to complete his outward nine, before losing another shot at the par-4 10th hole.
Anirban recovered slightly when he made his first birdie of the round at the par-5 17th to ensure he signed his card with no further damage. The Indian still has a good chance of forcing his way into the top ten, with only two shots separating him and those inside the top 10 at this inaugural Fiji International event.
On a day littered with bogeys, Kim Tae-Hoon produced a rare blemishless effort to 69 to jump 46 places to tie for 15th alongside Vijay Singh, whose 70 was enough to help him gain 25 places on the leader board. Another Korean Hur In-Hoi sneaked into the top 5 with a solid 70 on Saturday. Amidst gusting winds, Aussie David Smail produced the best effort of the round.
Smail made four birdies and an eagle, all on the front nine, for a 31 to produce the best round of the day. His card of 67 allowed him to leap 32 spots on the board and settle in eighth place ahead of the final round on Sunday. Andrew Dodt is third at 6-under with Brad Kennedy at fourth with a five-under 211. There are three men tied in fifth – Hur In-Hoi, Cameron Smith and Michael Sim are all at 4-under 212.
Report by Anand Datla